Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Sketch design for a new Town Hall, or General Assembly Room and Market House
  • image SM drawer 69/1/10

Reference number

SM drawer 69/1/10


Sketch design for a new Town Hall, or General Assembly Room and Market House


Front elevation and plan


10 feet to ¾ inch


By Thornhill, in pen and brown ink, left of plan, Town Hall, or / Genll: Assembly, Market House. / & c; and within plan, 30 ft clear; 60 ft.; and to right of elevation, 17 ft high; 23; and to right of plan, Blandford / Forum.; and on verso, over small pencil-drawn rectangle of plan, 40 ground / 80

Signed and dated

  • 1733

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink, with grey-brown wash


James Thornhill


'VRYHEYT' in crowned wreath, with lion, spear and seven darts; see Churchill, 1935, no. 83


As Colvin has observed, Thornhill sat in Parliament from 1722 to 1734 as Member for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, and in 1732 was one of the Commissioners for the rebuilding of Blandford after its destruction by fire on 4 June 1731. This explains how he came to make this unexecuted design, which 'shows a degreee of Palladian influence that is unexpected in one who as an artist was so consistently baroque in style'.The plan provides for a long table on a dais at the upper end of the ground-floor hall, which may be connected with the use of the space as a market hall. The spiral staircase on the left would have given access to an upper hall, presumably for use as a council chamber and assembly room.


Colvin, Biographical Dictionary, 2008, pp. 1039-40



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).